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  • Market Research that informs your business strategy. Part 4: Mystery Shopper | Competitive Advantage
    a third party to conduct this research so that the results are not influenced in any way It is also necessary that this third party is informed about current issues in your marketplace familiar with the industry s language and practices and understand the challenges you and your customers face With this foundation they should also be able to get a grasp of your product portfolio In this way they will be able to successfully pose as a prospective customer when completing the mystery shopper survey As part of your survey you need to consider who is to be surveyed is it your own staff or a third party distribution channel Then you need to identify the channels you will be reviewing will it be in store face to face telephone online or a combination of these At each step of the way review your objectives and ensure they are incorporated into the shopping scenario Before commencing the main bulk of the work it is advised that a pilot is conducted this way you can ensure your mystery shopper scenario works in the real world and that it covers your objectives set Conducting a pilot allows you assess the effectiveness of the shopping scenario and to make adjustments accordingly before rolling out the full survey Finally it is important to consider how the findings are recorded each scenario should be recorded accurately and consistently allowing for comparison so conclusions can be drawn and informed decisions made Conclusion Using the results to inform your strategy The key to mystery shopper is keeping it simple and having clear objectives for the shopper to cover when conducting their shopping scenario Keeping the recording of each shopping scenario consistent allows for the comparison of data Conducting a mystery shopper survey will provide you with detailed insight into the way your products are sold providing you with good and bad practice examples that your team can learn from Armed with information from a mystery shopper your sales team are in a strong position to negotiate with distributors They will know what is actually happening at the point of sale and improve their own position For example clients have found through mystery shopper exercises that their preferred distributors were actually offering an alternative product to customers in preference to the agreed brand With this information they were able to renegotiate with their distributor The mystery shopper can also determine price levels in the market We have worked with clients planning a new product launch to help them set the price their new product This type of research can often identify training requirements and inform a development programme Contact us Competitive Advantage has been conducting construction market research since 2000 Our research team have construction industry experience are familiar with the industry s language and practices and understand the challenges you and your customers face Our commercial experience means that as well as reporting market research findings we are able to interpret these effectively and make sound

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/market-research-that-informs-your-business-strategy-part-4-mystery-shopper/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Market Research that informs your business strategy. Part 3: market feedback and evaluation | Competitive Advantage
    informed decisions you need to fully understand your market That means understanding Market size and your share of it Which sectors are you most successful in and why What are the prospects for these sectors in the short to medium term What other market sectors are there which require similar skills and which of these offer the best growth potential The Process Much of the information you will require is in the public domain Both Construction News and Building regularly publish summaries of market forecasts although it is worth purchasing the full reports the principal two are published by the Construction Products Association and Experion Glenigan and Barbour ABI are also useful sources of information basing their market projections upon planning approvals Much of this information is summarised in Competitive Advantage s free monthly newsletter you can also view a list of useful information sources in the Resources section of our website In addition to the general market data reports are available for sector activity However many of our clients who have a specific project of issue consider it worthwhile to commission a bespoke review of the market supporting the general market information with in depth review and analysis Another useful source of information is the Mystery Shopper Its principal role is to gather information on prices being quoted for your products and your competitors But it also provides useful information as to which wholesale and merchant groups are promoting which products and what is being said about your products and your competitors A Mystery Shopper uses a researcher to contact a series of distributors merchants or wholesalers with a fictitious enquiry for a particular product while posing as a customer usually a contractor A record will be made of what the salespersons recommends prices quoted and any other information key to the sales process Analysis then shows which groups are offering which products and the price levels Sometimes it can identify that although a supply agreement is in place that product is not being actively promoted providing the opportunity for further negotiation with the re seller The mystery shopper is a relatively inexpensive means of monitoring the market and if repeated on a regular basis can also highlight trends Conclusion Using the results to inform your strategy All of this information needs to be gathered together interpreted and evaluated Very often it will be incorporated into the business or marketing plan The main output should be an action plan covering the short medium and long term with accountability and timescales The benefits of market feedback and evaluation Make sound decisions when developing strategy Be confident of making the right decision in terms of product investment and development Identify product opportunities for new and existing products Anticipate future product demand Identify new market sectors you could move into with minimal risk Track progress and evaluate your success for your business or a particular product Identify marketing messages that can be used Contact us Competitive Advantage has been conducting construction market

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/market-research-that-informs-your-business-strategy-part-3-market-feedback-and-evaluation/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Market Research that informs your business strategy. Part 1: customer satisfaction surveys | Competitive Advantage
    Safety but they had not broadcast this achievement The process To ensure the findings are impartial it is important to use an independent third party to conduct this research if you use your own staff it is unlikely that people will give honest answers Review your customer contacts and select the customers of importance to you This could be a combination of turn over location market expertise and specialisation Remember to include the different touch points in an organisation For a contractor this might be Purchasing Manager Estimator and Project Manager Each will have different needs deal with a different part of your business and have a different but equally important perception Consider who these people are influenced by and include a sample of these Also list those organisations you would like to deal with and include similar contacts in the perception study The perceptions of your suppliers are also important they will talk to your customers and the market in general and you want them to be saying things which support your communications The survey should comprise of four core elements Identifying the key factors that really matter to your customer Measuring perceptions of how your organisation performs against these Measure perceptions of your competitors as a benchmark Awareness of recent promotional activity Because Competitive Advantage conducts the annual Construction Media Index we have a good understanding of which communications channels are being used by the different sectors of the construction industry and ensure a perception study is properly focused Test the survey on a few respondents to ensure it is working as intended Are the questions structured correctly to get the qualitative feedback important in a perception study or issues that were not expected arising The range of research methods can include online surveys telephone interviews face to face interviews focus groups We have found telephone interviews to be the most cost effective and reliable method of research If there are some complex issues or important customers consider face to face interviews in the research process Conclusion Using the results to inform your strategy It is important that you do well in the areas that really matter to your customers Having identified the key issues you should ensure that all future communications include statements reinforcing your company s strengths in these areas There will probably be some things you want to improve prioritise these and start working on making the improvements There will be other areas where your customers perceptions may be incorrect Here it s a case of telling them more about what you do and why you are good at it supporting claims with evidence Strengthening your market position is an on going process and the benefits of conducting a customer perception study are It enables fact based decision making about your business Helps you understand what customers like about your company and why Identifies opportunities for improvement Prioritises changes based on customer feedback Strengthens your customer relationships Measures effectiveness of advertising and PR programmes Informs

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/market-research-that-informs-your-business-strategy-part-1-customer-satisfaction-surveys/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Market Research that informs your business strategy. Part 2: perception studies | Competitive Advantage
    but they had not broadcast this achievement The process To ensure the findings are impartial it is important to use an independent third party to conduct this research if you use your own staff it is unlikely that people will give honest answers Review your customer contacts and select the customers of importance to you This could be a combination of turn over location market expertise and specialisation Remember to include the different touch points in an organisation For a contractor this might be Purchasing Manager Estimator and Project Manager Each will have different needs deal with a different part of your business and have a different but equally important perception Consider who these people are influenced by and include a sample of these Also list those organisations you would like to deal with and include similar contacts in the perception study The perceptions of your suppliers are also important they will talk to your customers and the market in general and you want them to be saying things which support your communications The survey should comprise of four core elements Identifying the key factors that really matter to your customer Measuring perceptions of how your organisation performs against these Measure perceptions of your competitors as a benchmark Awareness of recent promotional activity Because Competitive Advantage conducts the annual Construction Media Index we have a good understanding of which communications channels are being used by the different sectors of the construction industry and ensure a perception study is properly focused Test the survey on a few respondents to ensure it is working as intended Are the questions structured correctly to get the qualitative feedback important in a perception study or issues that were not expected arising The range of research methods can include online surveys telephone interviews face to face interviews focus groups We have found telephone interviews to be the most cost effective and reliable method of research If there are some complex issues or important customers consider face to face interviews in the research process Conclusion Using the results to inform your strategy It is important that you do well in the areas that really matter to your customers Having identified the key issues you should ensure that all future communications include statements reinforcing your company s strengths in these areas There will probably be some things you want to improve prioritise these and start working on making the improvements There will be other areas where your customers perceptions may be incorrect Here it s a case of telling them more about what you do and why you are good at it supporting claims with evidence Strengthening your market position is an on going process and the benefits of conducting a customer perception study are It enables fact based decision making about your business Helps you understand what customers like about your company and why Identifies opportunities for improvement Prioritises changes based on customer feedback Strengthens your customer relationships Measures effectiveness of advertising and PR programmes Informs the

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/market-research-that-informs-your-business-strategy-part-2-perception-studies/ (2016-02-12)
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  • cadvantage | Competitive Advantage | Page 2
    the architect s attention and then reassuring Communicating with the industry Construction industry knowledge hub Effective specification strategies Marketing in construction Understanding the construction industry Understanding your customer Communicating with Main Contractors An Interview with Colin Courtney Posted on August 14 2012 updated on January 4 2016 by cadvantage Leave a comment When specification selling there is the tendency to focus on just the Architect or Engineer forgetting about the Contractor When specification selling on a D B or PFI project don t just focus on the Architect find out who the Contractor s Design Manager is The Design Manager will be seeking the most effective solution for the project Communicating with the industry Construction industry knowledge hub Marketing in construction Understanding the construction industry Understanding your customer Specification Sales what is it and why should you be doing it Posted on August 2 2012 updated on January 18 2016 by cadvantage Leave a comment Although the construction industry is not glamorous it is responsible for 9 of UK GDP and has a very complex decision making unit DMU hence a marketing challenge Although very cost focused the industry is increasingly selecting products on value recognising that a more expensive product can often deliver pay back in terms of greater speed Communicating with the industry Construction industry knowledge hub Effective specification strategies How to write a comprehensive market research brief Posted on May 29 2012 updated on January 18 2016 by cadvantage Leave a comment Market research provides an important understanding of your customers their needs issues opinions about your company and your competitors It is the road map for business strategy and as the landscape is always changing especially in times of recession it is important to undertake regular research keeping your road map current In today s very competitive Communicating with the industry Construction industry knowledge hub Marketing in construction Understanding the construction industry Understanding your customer Don t Ignore BIM Posted on May 10 2012 updated on January 18 2016 by cadvantage Leave a comment BIM Building Information Modelling is now competing with Sustainability as the hot topic for the construction industry since the government announcement that it will be required on all public sector projects over 5 million from 2016 onwards This programme of implementation is already underway with the Ministry of Justice and NHS now requiring it on Building Information Modelling Construction industry knowledge hub Understanding the construction industry Making sense of the construction industry a marketer s guide Posted on April 16 2012 updated on January 4 2016 by cadvantage Leave a comment If you are a Marketer new to construction then you may be feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of this challenging market place The construction industry is made up of a series of relationships with architects designers engineers contractors sub contractors all working together to meet the needs of the client There are also a number of Communicating with the industry Construction industry knowledge hub Marketing in construction Understanding the construction industry

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/author/cadvantage/page/2/ (2016-02-12)
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  • CONSTRUCTION RESEARCH | Competitive Advantage | Page 3
    surveys is an important element of good business Surveying your customers informs business process Construction industry knowledge hub Marketing in construction Understanding your customer The 5 essential elements of an awesome research brief Posted on July 29 2014 updated on November 20 2014 by Helen Leave a comment A great brief possesses clarity displays depth of thought and provides direction Drafting a comprehensive brief takes time thought and input from others including your peers and chosen research consultant Putting in the effort ensures the key reasons for conducting research are clear and importantly how the findings are to be used is understood Construction industry knowledge hub Marketing in construction Understanding your customer The Advantages of Benchmarking your Brand with Key Specifiers an interview with Jenny Smith Andrews from H H Posted on February 7 2014 updated on January 4 2016 by Helen 1 Comment The Net Promoter Score NPS is a loyalty metric developed by Fred Reichheld In his book The Ultimate Question NPS is presented as the most important metric for business Developed for consumer marketing the Net Promoter Score tracks how customers represent a company to their friends and associates Working with some of our clients Competitive Construction industry knowledge hub Understanding your customer December Construction Market Overview Posted on December 14 2013 updated on April 9 2014 by Helen Leave a comment The Chancellor presented his Autumn Statement last week with one positive point relevant to construction that the government would beinvesting 1bn in loans to unblock stalled housing developments in Leeds and Manchester he commented that If we want more people to own a home we have to build more homes It was also announced that Councils would Construction industry knowledge hub Construction market activity Understanding Forecasts an interview with Noble Francis Posted on December 9 2013 updated on April 9 2014 by Helen Leave a comment The construction industry has complex interrelationships between buyers and decision makers which are becoming increasingly complicated as it faces new demands and pressures such as sustainability and the introduction of BIM With a cautious return to growth it is important to keep informed of changes in the construction market and its sectors Monitoring changes and understanding industry forecasts can Construction industry knowledge hub Construction market activity Understanding the construction industry How much should you invest in your Construction Sales Marketing Posted on November 19 2013 updated on April 15 2014 by Helen 1 Comment How do you decide your marketing spend and then justify it to the Finance Director Even when starting with a bottom up process it is useful to have a comparison with other similar companies Competitive Advantage Consultancy has completed a survey of marketing activity and spend in the construction sector for Manufacturers Contractors Professional Services and Communicating with the industry Construction industry knowledge hub Marketing in construction Reaping the Benefits of BIM an interview with Rebecca De Cicco Posted on November 4 2013 updated on April 9 2014 by Chris Ashworth Leave a comment Our

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/tag/construction-research/page/3/ (2016-02-12)
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  • inbound marketing | Competitive Advantage
    tips With us hitting the half way mark of 2014 also included are reminders to check your strategy is on track Making the most of social media Acton have released a Social Media Marketing 101 toolkit For Construction industry knowledge hub Marketing in construction Communicating with Construction Industry Decision Makers An Integrated Strategy Posted on June 11 2013 updated on January 18 2016 by Helen Leave a comment Our recent research Construction Media Index identifies communication channels used by the key decision makers in the UK construction industry It looks at the readership of hardcopy and online trade journals industry blogs and websites and the use of product directories as well as attendance of technical seminars It also provides an insight into Twitter Communicating with the industry Construction industry knowledge hub Understanding the construction industry Understanding your customer Communicating with Specialist Contractors an Interview with Stefan Hay Posted on August 14 2012 updated on January 4 2016 by cadvantage Leave a comment When specification selling there is the tendency to focus on just the Architect or Engineer forgetting about the Contractor The Contractor or Specialist Contractor are often overlooked and can present a missed opportunity in influencing the specification of your product When specification selling on a D B or PFI project don t just focus on the Architect Communicating with the industry Construction industry knowledge hub Marketing in construction Understanding the construction industry Understanding your customer Communicating with Architects an interview with Su Butcher Posted on August 14 2012 updated on January 4 2016 by cadvantage Leave a comment The architect is probably the most important member of the design team distilling the requirements and advice of the other members Often though they are time poor and consequently hard to get hold of So how do you introduce your

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/tag/inbound-marketing/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Sample Size Calculators – a review | Competitive Advantage
    This is commonly 90 95 or 99 the most popular being 95 It is the chance that the true value will be inside the confidence interval margin of error calculated In other words how confident you are about your margin of error calculation Response distribution or percentage of accuracy This is the number that gave a survey response or if yet to complete the survey the number you anticipate will give a response This does involve some guess work You can use past experience and or your knowledge of the target population The nature of the survey can also affect response rates is it a long survey is it online or via telephone all these elements will have an influence Working this out allows you to understand how many people you need to survey in order to get your desired number of responses If you are unsure then using a 50 response rate is one way to achieve a sufficiently large sample size so to ensure accuracy of data Of course if you are finding all of this confusing you could just ask a research agency like Competitive Advantage to do it for you Sample size calculators reviewed Online calculator Ease of use Provision of supporting Information Calculator options flexibility How practical are the results Score Survey System Confusing to use as the confidence interval needs to be worked out to calculate the sample size and vice versa Clearly set out but needs to be written in a more straight forward manner Two calculator options one to determine sample size and one to determine confidence interval margin of error Gives a sensible result providing a manageable sample size MaCorr research Confusing to use as the confidence interval needs to be worked out to calculate the sample size and vice versa Cle arly set out in plain English giving details of each stage of the calculation Two calculator options one to determine sample size and one to determine confidence interval margin of error Gives a sensible result providing a manageable sample size Raosoft A simple format presented on screen with no need to scroll Suggestions are given on how best to complete the fields No detailed explanation provided just a one liner explanation The more information section is confusing One calculator is provided to determine sample size Provides alternative scenarios on your results demonstrating what they would be if you were to increase or decrease your confidence level sample size Australian national statistics service Presented in a clear and easy to use format With guidance on which fields to complete to get the data you need Introduction is confusing but overall the calculator is clearly presented with step by step bullet points to follow Also an explanation of the categories and an explanation of the results is provided It has one calculator that can be completed in different ways to determine your results It clearly indicates which data to complete to find sample size and or confidence interval Gives a sensible

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/sample-size-calculators-a-review/ (2016-02-12)
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